With the yearly increase in the number of students in the country, the public schools face the problem of classroom shortage and poor learning conditions for students. Teachers oftentimes hold classes in basketball courts or under the shade of trees within the school compound. Old and dilapidated classrooms and small storage rooms are also being used by the schools to accommodate shifting classes with over 50 students per class.
To help address the problem on the shortage of classrooms in Zamboanga City, Security Bank Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Security Bank Corporation, donated eight (8) classrooms for Canelar Elementary School. “We saw how difficult the learning conditions are in the public schools, so we decided to help build new classrooms for needy public schools. By building new learning facilities, we leave behind a legacy that will benefit many students for many years.”, Security Bank Foundation Chairman Rafael F. Simpao, Jr. explains.
With Security Bank Foundation’s donation of new classrooms in Zamboanga City, the Canelar Elementary School will have more classrooms conducive for learning for their students, class sizes will be reduced to below 50 students per class, shifting classes will be minimized and the number of class hours will be longer.
The school building with eight (8) classrooms and comfort rooms for the public school beneficiary was inaugurated last February 19, 2014. Security Bank Foundation Chairman Rafael F. Simpao, Jr. and Trustee / Corporate Secretary Melissa R. Aquino led the ceremonial ribbon cutting together with the Hon. Mayor Maria Isabelle G. Climaco, DepEd Division of Zamboanga City OIC Superintendent Mr. Pedro Melchor Natividad, Ateneo Center for Educational Development Executive Director Ms. Carmela Oracion and Consultant Fr. Ben Nebres, Jr., Security Bank Senior Vice President and VisMin Region Head Jason Ang, Mindanao Area Head Eric Chiong and Zamboanga Canela Branch Business Manager Chay Kian Kim.
In attendance during the event were Security Bank Foundation Program Manager Mel Vigo-Cordova, representatives of the City Government and DepEd Division Office of Zamboanga City, teachers and students of Canelar Elementary School.
The donation of eight (8) classrooms in Zamboanga City is part of the Foundation’s “Build a School, Build a Nation: The Classrooms Project”. The project is a partnership for the construction of Public School Classrooms initiated by Security Bank Foundation in partnership with Ateneo de Manila University over a period of 3-5 years. Funding from Security Bank Foundation will be supported by Ateneo’s design of academic programs that will help improve the academic performance of students in public schools.
In response to the Government’s call for support for the new K+12 Education Program of the Department of Education, Security Bank Foundation’s Classrooms Project is committed to build 200 classrooms for public schools nationwide to benefit 10,000-15,000 students every school year and to reduce the gap of over 40,000 classrooms in the country.